Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Five tips for buying a useless mountain bike

Posted by Matt | February 21, 2008 | Leave a comment

Mountain Biking is a broad church. We at the Muddymoles and mountain bikers in general are only too happy to welcome beginners to our sport. But we’ve all seen how easy it is to get caught out. For the unwary who fancy the idea of ‘getting in’ to MTB-ing, here’s some advice about what not to do.

  1. Don’t decide you won’t spend too much in case you don’t like it. Perhaps you secretly pity your mates who have spent thousands on their latest rig and have resolved to show them what real value is. We’ve all tried and it can’t be done.
  2. Never ask a mate who ‘knows a bit’ about MTB-ing for advice. Or do whatever he says. Sometimes 6 inches of travel or 29 inch wheels or full XTR or carbon fibre is a bit like, er extreme for riding round the park.
  3. Do not try a number of bikes. Pick yours based on colour (sometimes this works) or brand name or go to Halfords. On no account go near your local bike shop – they’re just gonna see you coming, right?
  4. Avoid buying the maximum you can get for your budget. Even if you can get full suspension and 27 gears for £99 doesn’t mean you should. As a tangent for this, never pay the asking price and congratulate yourself on your canny bargain hunting.
  5. Do not think the internet is your friend. The internet is a mine of information, not all of which we understand but it is not your friend. Yes you can pick up bargains but only when you have a clear idea of a) what you need and b) it’s value to you.

Bonus tip for a more miserable experience

On no account budget for the following:

  • Cycle specific clothing – boy, what a waste of money that is, especially those funny shorts. Saddos only
  • Repairs – what on a new bike? – get out of here!
  • Puncture repair kits, multitools, camelbaks – no point if your mate carries everything anyway is there?


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

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